Definition of coppice in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkäpəs/
chiefly British


An area of woodland in which the trees or shrubs are, or formerly were, periodically cut back to ground level to stimulate growth and provide firewood or timber.
Example sentences
  • Utilization of starch reserves in naturally regenerating coppices was estimated to provide only a small proportion of the dry matter accumulated in new shoots.
  • Instead of the majestic oak woods the path now runs through an oak coppice, where the trees have been regularly cut to produce young, straight trees which, in former days, would have been regularly coppiced.
  • I recently observed several employees of Swindon Services hand-picking paper, plastic food containers, cans and bottles (some smashed) from hedges and coppices in the Shaw area.


[with object]
Cut back (a tree or shrub) to ground level periodically to stimulate growth: (as adjective coppiced) coppiced timber
More example sentences
  • Power & Water acknowledges that coppicing the trees would create greater effluent uptake as trees re-grow, but there has been no action on this front apparently for legal liability reasons.
  • We cleared through this banking last winter, taking out or coppicing overgrown shrubs and controlling the undergrowth of brambles and ferns.
  • The forest has been intensively coppiced, and multi-stemmed trees make up a large fraction of the present tree population.


Late Middle English: from Old French copeiz, based on medieval Latin colpus 'a blow' (see cope1). Compare with copse.

  • cope from Middle English:

    Nowadays to cope with something is to manage or deal with it effectively, but the word used to mean ‘to meet in battle’ or ‘to come to blows’. Its source is the Latin word colpus ‘a blow’, which is also the root of coup (Late Middle English), ‘a sudden seizure of power from a government’ often used in its French form coup d'état (mid 17th century). Coppice (Late Middle English), woodland where the trees have regularly been cut back, and its shortening copse (late 16th century) also go back to colpus, from the idea that they have been cut back with blows.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: cop·pice

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